Left: Mok Shu Yin is currently an undergraduate at NTU, pursuing a Bachelor of Maritime Studies. She is a recipient of the “K” Line – MaritimeONE Scholarship.
Right: Muhammad Amirul Aniq Bin Mohd Jaaffar is currently a Deck Officer and a Dynamic Position Operator (DPO). He is a recipient of the SMA - MaritimeONE Scholarship.
Established in 2004, the Singapore Maritime Foundation (SMF) serves as a conduit between stakeholders in the public and private sectors and strives to attract, engage and grow a maritime-ready talent pool.
With Singapore’s rich maritime tradition as an entrepôt port, it is essential that the maritime ecosystem is supported by a diverse group of individuals that will advance Singapore’s standing as an International Maritime Centre.
Mok Shu Yin and Muhammad Amirul Aniq Bin Mohd Jaaffar are two budding MaritimeONE scholars with a strong passion for an industry that is not just a vital economic sector but a key pillar of the global logistics and supply chain.
It’s safe to say that neither had any idea what a career in the maritime industry entailed, other than it being a noun that suggested some form of seafaring. But the reality is that maritime is a vibrant ecosystem that offers a myriad of career opportunities on shore and at sea.
A Purposeful Sector
Although Amirul has some idea about a life at sea through his father, his interest was piqued only after speaking to lecturers as well as friends who had taken up a Diploma in Nautical Studies (DNS) at Singapore Polytechnic.
“It comes with good money, adventure, a chance to travel the world, long shore leave in between sailings and abundant job opportunities once I am ready to return to shore. Back then as a kid who just graduated from secondary school, it seemed like the best job in the world to me. I talked to my parents about it and they were really supportive,” he recalled.
Likewise, Shu Yin knew nothing about what a Diploma in Maritime Business would entail in terms of career choices, until she learned about the many roles such as ship management, ship agency and ship chartering. Her desire to join the industry was cemented following her internship at global maritime group, Wilhelmsen, after which she decided to pursue a degree in Maritime Studies at the Nanyang Technological University.
Explaining why a MaritimeONE scholarship made sense to him, Amirul shared: “In DNS, we had a lot of expenses. We had to take additional courses, purchase books and uniforms. It’s either we work part-time, or we get a scholarship,” he explained. And the SMA - MaritimeONE Scholarship was most appealing for other reasons as well.
“Some of the scholarships had long bonds with strict surety requirements. On the other hand, the MaritimeONE Scholarship is more inclusive and accessible to students at the Singapore Maritime Academy.”
For Shu Yin, her choice, too, was clear, albeit for a different reason. She identified “K” Line as a company that appealed to her. Their longstanding reputation gave her a sense of job security, and as such, the “K” Line - MaritimeONE Scholarship was the only one that she was interested in.
““K” Line is well established within the industry, and I felt that the career opportunities it offers align with what I plan to do in the future. The scholarship provides me with the opportunity to focus on my studies without having to worry about my finances,” she shared.
Shu Yin is focused on managing her commitments and staying motivated, but still finds time for the many activities offered by the scholarship programme, “There are many events that we can participate in such as the MaritimeONE Scholars’ Advance (a volunteer program), case competitions, hackathons, networking sessions and career fairs. I find the range of opportunities offered by the scholarship to be meaningful as it includes exposure to relevant industries, as well as community activities to give back to society.”
Amirul currently serves as Deck Officer/ Dynamic Position Operator (DPO). He ensures safe navigation of his vessel at sea on his watch and is responsible for the operation and monitoring of the ship’s Dynamic Positioning System, which helps to pinpoint positioning of the ship so it can carry out operations such as laying submarine cables safely. In addition, he is responsible for upkeeping Life Saving Appliances and Fire Fighting Equipment, overseeing the discharge of Roll-On/Roll- Off cargo at the port and other duties to support his officers.
At the moment, Amirul has just cleared his Certificate of Competency (CoC) written exams for Class 2/1 Deck Officer and is on track to complete his Class 2 certification. His commitment to improving his skillset is unquestionable. “I want to be a competent person on board. When a problem arises, I hope to be capable of finding the solution,” he explained.
He would recommend the MaritimeONE Scholarship and the maritime sector, to anyone who appreciates the value of hard work and has a sense of adventure.
“If you choose to join the seafaring career, you have to learn and understand the concept of delayed gratification and grit. “By the time you are a senior officer and ready to step ashore, you will be well equipped with knowledge of what the market needs. This experience will ensure a smoother job matching process,” said Amirul.
Shu Yin is looking forward to joining “K” Line in her final year at school as part of her professional internship, as well as the prospect of business trips and career progression opportunities when she finally starts work. Regardless of which department within “K” Line she ends up in, she hopes to become a valuable employee at her company.
And when asked why students should join her in the sector, she answered succinctly: “Maritime offers more benefits than you can imagine. Join now.”